porto calling – loja de discos rua da conceição 80 – loja 2 – tel: 220 945 501, official site & facebook rock (all types and most of it), jazz, funk & soul. its name is a tribute to ‘london calling’ by the clash, and for sure you breathe a nostalgic british air at the store that gave it a friendly atmosphere inviting you to go there many times. it’s mostly rock, but exploring all the shelves you will get more than that. recent records and old gems can be found at this record shop somehow hidden from the main street and headed by a nice guy that really knows what is selling. louie louie rua do almada, 307 – tel: 222 010 384, official site & facebook everything & everything one of the oldest and still open record shops at porto. the place at almada’s street (there’s also a store at the portuguese capital), has a nice aura and you can find a bit of every type of music, from old bargains to the new …
away from the city, o esconderijo, as the name stands – the hideout – is an almost familiar restaurant that stunned us. vegetarian, rustic-kitsch decoration, personalized menu according to what there is the pantry or what they fell on us, friendly and welcoming staff. booking is mandatory, it is important to call in before and ask to be received. an exceptional experience which is increasingly rare when we talk about restaurants these days…
cozy tea house by horta’s hill, CASA. enjoy the surroundings and the city view (and, of course, the majestic pico) inside you have a great collection of tea perfect for a wintery day or a cloudy classic azorean day. one of the nights there, we had the opportunity to listen to a show by medeiros/lucas, a great portuguese pair with azorean roots. check on them, please.
estrela do atlântico is a cozy guest house run by the lovely ruth. the feeling of well-being and familiarity was immediate when we got there. ruth is a true hostess, making us feel as if we were at home. sounds like a cliché, but it was hard to get out of there. we could live in that house.
peter’s café sport is the classic binding spot in faial! after anchoring the sailboat in horta’s marina, drink a sailor’s gin and brag about your latest feats at the great and unknown sea, still with the taste of salt on the lips and skin cracked by the cold atlantic. years of endless conversations, miles and stories on the walls …
in são roque do pico, we had a great gastronomic surprise. casa âncora, by the hand of the chef timur abuziarov, is a modern restaurant using fresh produce from local fishermen and farmers. amazing how the chef managed to seize the azorean flavor in a unique and creative way. a must to do on the island, with the restaurant and lounge just by the sea. perfect at sunset.
across the canal, at madalena, a huge sperm whale lies in the rocks, resting for many past miles in the atlantic and contemplating the horizon line intersected by faial, islanders and boats loaded with dreams of other times. cella bar, winner of 2016 hospitality architecture award, combines the pico’s tradition on whale watching, long days in the sea capturing whales on small boats and the dark basalt landscape on an exquisite design bar/restaurant. nice flavors with some unusual twists of local food and contemporary tendencies and nice local wines. for sure, a place to visit when on the island.
louvre michaelense is a hip shop selling products “made in portugal”, as so many others that are popping at every corner these days – craftwork, gourmet products, exquisite drinks (or a simple coffee) and, of course, new interpretations of our childhood products. when we visited it for the first time, we were expecting only local products but we guess it would be a rather ambitious project. the place where it stands was opened in 1904 as a millinery, but later became an haberdashery and its a quite comfy memoir going there with my mom to buy buttons and zips to her homemade clothes. with time, and portuguese financial crisis, it bankrupted and was abandoned for many years. its transformation as louvre michaelense was nicely done and i’m happy that the place has a new life in ponta delgada’s downtown.
last edition of monocle’s the escapist features the azores as a unique place to get move on. nonetheless, it focus only on são miguel forgetting the unity and bursting exquisite of all the archipelago. despite that, the essay nicely captures the evolution of an island that is finally opening its mysteries to the world.
the best vegetarian restaurante we ever visit. its not easy to cook vegetarian or vegan food, but “rotas” really knows how to do it. simple and delicious food at a comfortable place. their version of tiramisu with “bolo levedo” (the traditional sweet bread) is to eat and ask for more. often fully booked so make sure to reserve a table.